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by MATTHEW EELES
Erin Connor may not be a household name like Nicole Kidman or Naomi Watts, but she is one of the busiest actors working in Australia.
Erin’s strong work ethic and passion for her craft is a testament to her upbringing having grown up on a tropical fruit farm near Byron Bay where she was put to work from a young age looking after the farm’s animals.
Erin’s first onscreen appearance came in Hayley Stibbard’s short comedy, Head Over Heels opposite Andy McPhee followed by a role in the original Underbelly series in 2010.
More television appearances came Erin’s way including a recurring role in adventure drama Terror Nova, and a part in AFL mini-series, White Lines.
Feature film roles followed and Erin scored lead roles in Dru Brown’s acclaimed 2014 feature film, The Suicide Theory, Rise in which she starred opposite Australian icon Martin Sacks, and Aaron Warwick’s horror, Beast No More. These performances lead Erin to her biggest role yet as Jenny Bartlett opposite Temuera Morrison in Luke Sparke’s Australian sci-fi epic, Occupation.
“While big blockbusters are the films that often make the news, there is a strong undercurrent of indie films being made all over Australia,” Erin tells Cinema Australia.
“I’m fortunate enough to live in Queensland where there’s a lot happening at the moment.”
While big name stars like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Melissa McCarthy and Tom Hanks are currently shooting large-scale Hollywood productions in Queensland, Connor has stayed true to her indie roots by jumping behind the camera to help kickstart two independent Queensland productions; short film The Last Zombie, the directing debut of Australian stuntman John Walton (Mad Max: Fury Road), and feature film Double or Nothing, which sees Connor re-team with The Suicide Theory director Dru Brown.
“The Last Zombie is an action packed outback comedy in which I play Ma,” says Erin.
“It’s a hilarious look at the life of Ethan, a young zombie, and Darcie Kate, a young girl who has given Ethan a second chance at life.”
The Last Zombie has a curious synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic word ravaged by the great Zombie War, the human race is clawing its way back. Enter one very strange ex-circus family that gets a hint of the last zombie. It’s now up to Darcie Kate to convince her family that this boy is not all evil before they hunt him down in their last bloodlust zombie hunt.
“2020 was a tough year for film and television, but with an array of passionate and resilient filmmakers in Queensland, we will never stop getting creative,” says an optimistic Erin.
Early this year, Erin joined the cast of Double or Nothing, which she is also producing.
Double or Nothing is described as a throwback to 90’s cinema in the vein of Snatch, Two Hands and The Big Lebowski and co-stars John Jarratt, Rowan Howard and Andrew Ian Pope.
Double or Nothing follows two cousins working in a mob-run Gold Coast workshop who have 48 hours to win back the money one of them has been skimming.
In the film Connor goes head to head with Jarratt, and is relishing the role.
“This will have audiences laughing one minute and completely shocked the next,” says Erin.
“We’ve set out to show that women can hold their own in a traditionally blokey genre. It’s very exciting that audiences want more female lead films, not just as a sidekick to a male but as a full multi-layered character with an influence on the story. I know audiences will be surprised and hopefully entertained by this gorgeous, raw, edgy and fun script that Dru has written.”
Keep an eye on Cinema Australia for more information about The Last Zombie and Double or Nothing.